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MIFGASHIM  July 2009

MIFGASHIM July 2009

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 86

From:

Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 13:46:52 +0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (235 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 86



Contents:


1.	Mifgashim Survey

2.	Beyond the Call of Duty:  The Lappin Foundation

3.	Graduation Speeches

4.	Marshall Memo:  More on Leveraging Principals’ Time and Focus


~~~~~~~~~


1.	Mifgashim Survey


The Lookstein Center recently surveyed readers for feedback on the content and quality 
of Mifgashim. 139 readers responded; responses were anonymous.

Approximately an equal number of teachers, administrators, and other educational 
professionals responded.  89% reported that they work in a Jewish day school.

What follows is a brief summary of the responses.  

•	76% of respondents read Mifgashim regularly, 54% twice a week and 22% once a 
week.  

•	79% skim the table of contents and read what interests them.  

•	83% are satisfied with the length of postings.  

•	64% find the material relevant to their work in education.

•	89% feel that the discussions help them keep abreast of issues in Jewish education.  

•	70% feel that the discussions encourage them to reflect on their work in Jewish 
education.

•	82% report that Mifgashim provides links to helpful educational resources.  

•	75% report that the excerpts from the Marshall Memo are informative.

•	87% find Mifgashim to be well-organized and easy to follow.

•	83% of the respondents would recommend Mifgashim to their colleagues.

In contrast to Lookjed, Mifgashim generates little discussion and few readers post 
questions.  Half of the respondents report that they do not have time to post or respond, 
and a little over one quarter feel that posting a comment will not contribute to the 
discussion.

In the comments section, we learned that the layout (font, table of contents, formatting) 
could be improved.  In addition, while many readers consider Mifgashim to be a valuable 
source of professional development, others would prefer that controversial issues or 
difficult themes be discussed.  

It was also suggested that it would be helpful to have something like the Marshall Memo 
for Jewish periodicals.  Finally, although readers distinguish between Lookjed and 
Mifgashim, some respondents wondered why both listserves exist (Lookjed engages 
dialogue primarily among educators in Orthodox institutions; Mifgashim seems to have a 
readership that is not exclusively Orthodox.)

Moving forward, the Lookstein Center is going to seek a Bar Ilan University student to 
review Jewish periodicals.  Our hope would be to create some Jewish analogue to the 
Marshall Memo.  Furthermore, starting August 1, Mifgashim will be published once a week 
with an eye towards engaging more discussion on topical issues.

We thank the respondents for sharing your feedback and look forward to building on this 
past year’s accomplishments.

Lee Buckman
[log in to unmask]


~~~~~~~~~


2.	Beyond the Call of Duty:  The Lappin Foundation


You may recall the 1995 story of the Mensch of Malden Mills.   After his factory burned 
down, the CEO Aaron Feuerstein decided not only to use his insurance money to rebuild 
the factory, but also to continue paying the salaries of all the now-unemployed workers 
while the factory was being rebuilt.  If you’re not familiar with the story, see 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YcWLXBXaD8.  

In 2009 we have the Mensch of North Shore of Boston who inspires us. Ronald Lappin, a 
Boston philanthropist, lost money in the Madoff fraud.  Nevertheless, he is using $5 
million of his own money to pay his employees, many of whom who lost their retirement 
nest eggs to Madoff. He plans to restore funds to 60 employees of his company, Salem-
based Shetland Properties. He will also restore lost funds to his private charity, The 
Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, which supports Jewish education and culture on 
the North Shore in the Boston area.

For more on this remarkable story, see 
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/07/15/madoff-victim-makes-good-on-losses-to-his-
employees/ - 

Both of these inspiring deeds should not be ignored in Jewish day schools as they bravely 
illustrate the notion of acting lifnim m’shurat hadin, going beyond the call of duty.


~~~~~~~~~


3.	Day School Graduation Speeches

Although graduation season has passed, we are still receiving excerpts from speeches 
delivered by administrators at June’s commencement exercises.   Below is a recent 
submission (with apologies that it was submitted only in CAPS). 

Rabbi Stuart Grant, Principal Emeritus of Judaic Studies, North Shore Hebrew Academy 
High School in Great Neck, New York:


….WHAT REALLY COUNTS IN LIFE ARE THE RELATIONSHIPS YOU MAKE, THE PEOPLE YOU 
HELP; TO BE WHAT WE CALL A MENTCH….ONE NEEDS TO BE FLUENT IN THE FIVE LOVE 
LANGUAGES OF RELATIONSHIP TO BE A MENTCH.

THE LANGUAGES ARE: WORDS OF AFFIRMATION, GIFTS, SERVICE, QUALITY TIME AND 
PHYSICAL TOUCH. 

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION: WILL YOU PROTECT AND ENCOURAGE, COMFORT WITH A KIND 
WORD SAYING IN THE FACE OF FAILURE, “TRY AGAIN. I’M WITH YOU. I KNOW YOU CAN 
DO IT.”?  BE A MENTCH; AFFIRM.
 
GIFTS:   WHEN YOU SEE THE DESTITUTE ON THE STREET, WILL YOU WITH A SMILE AND A 
KIND WORD GIVE SOME MONEY TO FEED A HUNGRY MAN?  WILL YOU HAVE A PUSHKEH 
IN YOUR DORM ROOM; BE A MENTCH, GIVE.
 
SERVICE:  WILL YOU SAY “I’LL LET OTHERS ORGANIZE THE RALLIES FOR ISRAEL OR 
FRENCH JEWRY OR PROTESTS AGAINST GENOCIDE IN THE SUDAN”; OR WILL YOU BE 
FIRST IN PREPARING SUPPLIES FOR THE NEXT NEW ORLEANS OR THE NEXT SEDEROT.   
BE A MENTCH, SERVE.
 
QUALITY TIME: WILL YOU BE AT THE ISRAELI DAY PARADE, THE RALLIES AT THE U.N. FOR 
THE SURVIVAL OF ISRAEL, THE PROTESTS AGAINST IRAN’S THREATS; WILL YOU VISIT IN 
ORDER TO COMFORT A FRIEND WHO IS SICK, OR WHO HAS LOST A LOVED ONE?  BE A 
MENTCH, BE PRESENT.
 
PHYSICAL TOUCH: WILL YOU PUT UP A MEZUZAH BY YOUR DORM ROOM DOOR TO TOUCH 
ON YOUR WAY IN AND OUT? WILL YOU ENWRAP YOURSELVES IN TALLIT AND TEPHILLIN 
FEELING G-D’S ARMS EMBRACING YOU; AND LADIES, WILL YOU FEEL THE WARM GLOW OF 
THE CANDLES BENEATH YOU FINGERS ON SHABBAT AND YOM TOV?

WE WILL ALWAYS BE HERE TO WELCOME YOU HOME FROM WHERE EVER HASHEM LEADS 
YOU INTO YOUR FUTURE.   VISIT OFTEN, WE’LL LEAVE THE LIGHT ON.



~~~~~~~~~


4.	Marshall Memo:  More on Leveraging Principals’ Time and Focus

In this Journal of Staff Development column, NSDC director Stephanie Hirsh suggests 
twelve ways to continue high-quality professional development despite lean budgets:

-	Make student learning results the focus of professional learning; provide principals 
and teacher teams with timely interim assessment data to work with.

-	Give teachers the support they need to address student needs identified in these 
assessments.

-	Use time during the school day (or in early-dismissal or late-start time slots) for 
teacher teams to plan lessons and units, write common assessments, and learn together.

-	Invest only in proven strategies and eliminate funding for one-shot workshops, 
unrelated graduate courses, one-size-fits-all conferences, beginning-of-the-year 
districtwide pep rallies, and “cafeteria” staff development days. “This is not a time to 
experiment with this year’s new thing,” says Hirsh.

-	Require teachers who participate in intensive school-based or district-sponsored 
initiatives to commit to learning, application, and assessing student results. 

-	Tap the expertise and credibility of in-house experts, including teachers, coaches, 
and others who have a track record of success with student learning.

-	Support teacher teams to form subject-specific networks to spread best practices, 
giving flex-time, recognition, and non-monetary incentives.

-	Take advantage of free resources from state departments of education, regional 
education service organizations, and other agencies (e.g. NAIS, PEJE, Lookstein Center).

-	Pool resources and collaborate with neighboring schools. 

-	Encourage teachers to use the Internet to access free lesson plans, unit plans, and 
curriculum materials.

-	Get teachers reading about best practices in voluntary journal and book study 
groups.

-	Learn from successful classrooms. “Within every school, there are teachers who are 
getting better results than other teachers on their grade level or subject area,” says 
Hirsh. “Spend time investigating the secrets to their success and determine what is 
transportable to other classes.” 

“Rich Learning Opportunities in a Tough Economy” by Stephanie Hirsh in Journal of Staff 
Development, Summer 2009 (Vol. 30, #3, p. 57-58), no e-link; Hirsh can be reached at 
[log in to unmask] 


The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12 education. Individual 
subscriptions are $50 for the school year at http://www.marshallmemo.com.

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

The Mifgashim List is a project of
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora,
The School of Education, Bar Ilan University

The Center encourages you to become a paid member and
benefit for the wide variety of programming offered by the Center.
For information see http://www.lookstein.org/joinus/.

To reply, comment or post a message, please write us at: [log in to unmask]
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You can search the archives at http://listserv.biu.ac.il/archives/mifgashim.html.

Check out online educational materials and information on other
Lookstein Center programs on our website at http://www.lookstein.org/.

The e-community is supported by generous grants from Evelyn and Shmuel Katz, Bal Harbour, Fl.

Further information may be obtained by writing to: [log in to unmask]

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